Cisco Mobilizes Video, Carrier-Grade Wi-Fi

By Sean Michael Kerner

February 14, 2011

New Cisco MOVE architecture debuts to deliver mobile video content.

According to Cisco, mobile video demand is set to explode in the coming years, which is why the company is rolling out a new architecture called MOVE to help deliver that content.

The MOVE framework includes a new mobile video delivery software solution called Mobile Videoscape that leverages multiple Cisco hardware platforms including the ASR 5000 router and the UCS server. There is also an effort to enable Carrier Grade Wi-Fi that further helps to enable mobile content delivery.

Andy Capener, director of service provider marketing for service provider mobility solutions at Cisco, explained to InternetNews.com that mobile videoscape includes a mobile video gateway that is installed on top of an ASR 5000. The ASR 5000 platform comes from Cisco's acquisition of mobile vendor Starent in 2009.

Capener noted that the mobile video gateway is the control point for mobile video optimization in the MOVE architecture. There is also a content adaptation engine which resides on the Cisco UCS and is used for video transcoding. Mobile video delivery is further enhanced with Cisco's overall approach for Adaptive Intelligent Routing (AIR). Capener added that the whole solution is about delivering network intelligence around video to ensure optimized delivery.

One such example of the optimized video routing that the mobile videoscape solution can provide is with video pacing. Capener noted that the system can enable a clip to load in the background only 30 seconds of video ahead of what the user is currently viewing, instead of attempting to buffer the entire video. He added that many users don't end up watching entire video clips and drop off before the end.

"What AIR enables is multiple Cisco platforms in the network to communicate and it takes intelligence that is typically more centralized and it distributes it more," Capener said.

Carrier grade Wi-Fi

As part of the Cisco mobility push, the company is also rolling out new Carrier Grade Wi-Fi technology. Chris Kozup, Cisco's senior manager of mobility solutions, told InternetNews.com that service provider Wi-Fi is a complement to cellular networks and is a way to increase capacity.

As part of the Carrier Grade rollout, Cisco is debuting the new Aironet 1550 Outdoor Wireless Access Point. The Aironet 1550 includes Cisco's Clean Air technology to help a service provider route around interference to ensure better content delivery. Clean Air first debuted in April of 2010 for enterprise wireless routers.

In addition to Clean Air, the Aironet 1550 supports the 802.11u specification to help enable next generation hotspots. Kozup explained that 802.11u enables an access point to advertise what services are available. He noted that based on policy a mobile device can utilize the native SIM credentials on a smartphone and make it applicable for a Wi-Fi network.

"When you access the Internet on your smartphone you are not being asked to authenticate as the authentication is happening with the SIM," Kozup said. "The same will now be true when you access a Wi-Fi hotspot. This allows the network to establish an encrypted link between the access point and the client device."

Cisco is also including support for MSAP (Mobility Services Application Protocol), which is a complement to 802.11u.

"802.11u might be able to advertise that there are services available, while MSAP is the protocol that get the service into an app to be delivered down to a device," Kozup said. "We about the delivery of transient application, so when the device is in the proximity of the hotspot it has the ability consume the app and when the device is outside hotspot, we don't necessarily want the application to remain on the device."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.



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